Addis Ababa Airport
As we previously posted, we did not make it out of Ethiopia on Thursday as we had expected. We ended up spending a lot more time in this airport than anticipated. We got to bed around 3:30 in the morning after not getting on the plane Thursday night. We were both still sick and at this point completely exhasted. We decided that it would be a good idea to head to the airport to check in really early to ensure we would be able to leave and wouldn't have any further visa problems. We got to the airport around 3pm and no one from Lufthansa was there to check us in. They are only in their office from 11:30 at night to 2am every other day when the flights leave Ethiopia. Wes, our driver and translator, was able to find a phone number for the Lufthansa office in Addis Ababa and called to verify if they would let us on the plane flying through Germany. She said no. We would need a visa. The German embassy was already closed and wouldn't be open again until Monday. Almaz called them as well and talked her into agreeing that we should be let on the plane but told us it would be up to whoever was at the ticket counter that night.
We both just felt we HAD to get home that day. The trip had been hard and getting stuck there was just that much harder. We decided we were just going to buy new tickets on a direct flight through Ethiopian airlines for $2,500 and fight for a refund from our travel agent when we got back. We were in line with our card ready to pay when Wes ran up and said the director of Lufthansa called him back and said we could get on the plane and that he would leave a note with the ticket counter. We decided to trust the director and had Wes take us back to our hotel. We arrived back at the airport at 11:30 pm and had no problem getting on our flight. The woman at the ticket counter had our name and put us on the flight.
It always seems that once you are through a difficult time, you are able to look back at the good that came from it. For us, it was the day we were able to spend with Wes. We were both starting to feel more like ourselves and really enjoyed the time spent learning about who Wes was and how he came to be at Hannah's Hope. We both said it was the moment we began to really understand the beauty of Ethiopia and the passion of it's people.